The early stages of video creation should be dedicated to setting goals, as this will dictate your messaging strategy, your budget, your timeline, and the metrics you’ll use to measure the effectiveness of each video.
Remember that you need to invest enough time in goal setting. Start with the following:
1. Use the SMART goal setting strategy
- Specific – Steer clear of vague statements like “I want to produce an animated video”. Instead, turn that into something more specific like “I want to produce videos that will promote X product to X market segment.” The more precise, the better.
- Measurable – What result do you want to see when each video comes out? Again, make this specific. Is it to increase your social media following or the number of people in your mailing list? Make sure you attach quantifiable attributes to it (e.g. percentages, dates, etc.).
- Achievable — You can’t aim, for instance, to go viral if you’re just starting out. If you aim too high, you might set yourself up to fail or feel pressured to be unethical for the sake of reaching your goal. For a goal to be achievable, you need to have the actual resources and capability to carry it out.
- Relevant — You video goal should be aligned with your organisation’s core strategic goals and move your business forward.
- Time-bound — Give yourself a deadline, so you’ll have that sense of urgency and be able to plan more accurately.
By applying the SMART guidelines above, a good sample goal for your video campaign would be:
To increase the number of email signups (specific) by 25% (measurable) by the end of the year (time-bound).
Email sign ups provide leads to your business, which makes it relevant to your organisation’s goals. If you have your in-house production team or if you partner with one, then you’ll have the means to create videos that will help you achieve your goals.
2. Focus on a problem you’re trying to solve
Analyse your current situation, and then assess both your strengths and weaknesses. Where else are you falling short? Which parts need improvement?
Then, focus on a problem that you believe video marketing can solve. This can include not getting enough conversions from landing pages, not having a huge reach on social media channels, or a lack of engagement from your followers.
3. Identify the right goal for your video
Different types of videos can achieve different types of goals. As per the help, hub, hero approach, you should assign every video its own corresponding goal, which can be grouped into one of three areas:
- Help videos — These are evergreen content that are aimed towards addressing questions of your target audience. These videos should be aimed at helping you rank in Google or YouTube’s search engine results pages (SERPs) and help to build your subscriber base, and cement your reputation as an authority in your niche.
- Hub videos — These are regularly published videos designed for those who already know you and are interested in your brand. The goal is to continue building your brand and increase loyalty.
- Hero videos — These videos are aimed to wow your target market. In many ways hero vids are the multi-platform
descendentof the traditional TV ad and are created with the same intention: to turn heads and shout about your brand. Hero videos will have high production value and are massively promoted in order to generate maximum brand exposure to as wide an audience as possible.
In Chapter 5, you’ll see a more detailed explanation on how to segment your videos according to the help, hub, hero approach.
4. Know your budget
To make sure you won’t run out of budget in the middle of production, follow these steps:
- Plan carefully — Know the exact amount of money that you’ll work with, so you can manage your expectations and not propose an idea that your budget cannot realistically produce.
- Create a content calendar — Remember that consistency is key to a successful content marketing strategy. Know which segment your video falls under (i.e. help, hub, or hero), so you can create a content calendar with enough time and budget to actually produce each video.
- Video agency or inhouse? — You can produce videos in-house or partner with a video agency. Weigh the pros and cons for each option. If you have previous experience, then you can do it in-house. Remember, full service video agencies will not only help you produce slick brand content but also help you plan your strategy in full, making the process more joined up and cost effective.
- Economies of scale — You can also identify many economies of scale with proper planning, such as repurposing one video into other content assets like stills, behind the scenes footage, or social media videos.
5. Follow a realistic timeframe
When coming up with a realistic timeframe, from conceptualisation to execution and marketing, you need to also anticipate unforeseeable issues. The weather may change when shooting outdoors, people might falling sick, or you may need to change key points in the script along the way.
The time frame per video may change, depending on its scale and scope. Make time for finding a video agency (if you’re not doing it in-house), writing the script, researching the logistics of the shoot, and post-production. Plan your production and have a set schedule, but leave room for some flexibility.
What Do You Need to Measure?
The only way to determine if your goals will work is to know which objectives to measure:
1. Reach and retention
- Track your search rankings on Google and/or YouTube.
- You can also look at the number of views, although this changes per platform (e.g. Facebook counts viewers who watched the first three seconds as a ‘view’, while YouTube counts the first 30 seconds).
- Play rate (how many viewers watched the video) and watch time (how long the viewers watched your video) both give you a better insight on how engaging your video is and if it’s positioned correctly on a page.
2. Social engagement
- Subscribers, social shares, and backlinks are great indicators of how well your video is being received by your target audience.
- Feedback, whether good or bad, can tell you if you’re going in the right direction or if there are mistakes you need to rectify.
- Press coverage, especially for your big hero videos, can also boost your social engagement, so track this metric.
- Clickthrough rate (CTR) can tell you whether your video is effective enough that your viewers clicked on your CTA button/s (e.g. newsletter signups, landing page, etc.).
Leads/sales is one of the best metrics to track, as these are the ones closer to your bottomline.
QUICK CHAPTER SUMMARY
- You need to set aside time to create goals, as this will direct your messaging strategy and the logistics of each video production
- Start by setting SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) goals
- Focus on one problem that your video content can solve
- Categorise videos according to their segment (help, hub, or hero) to identify the right goal for each one
- Set a realistic budget for production by planning carefully, creating a content calendar, and identifying where else you can be cost-effective
- When setting a timeframe, make sure that you leave room for any unforeseeable issues
- Each goal needs to have specific metrics to measure its effectiveness